Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Another one of Apifera's first cats...is gone
Little Orange in the background, naps with his companion, Plum.
I have to accept it, and probably did even four days ago when I noticed he was not at breakfast. Little Orange has returned to Nature. He was going on eleven.
I am sad about it-but also, I acknowledge the gift of having him for so long, and the gift I gave him, and his mates, and mother, of having such a long life as a semi feral. He was going on eleven, as is Plum, his constant companion of the last few years.
Little Orange was most likely the cutest kitten we had, well, there was Itty Bitty of course. But Orange captured every one's hearts with his teeniness. He was the final kitten to be trapped and neutered, and he wore his big boy pants proudly. Many of you know the story of the Apifera cats. When we moved here in 2004, almost on day one, a little orange fluff ball poked his head out of a hay bale. It was an orange tabby and he was part of a litter of five from the elusive Mama Kitty. I set out to trap the litter, and did, spayed and neutered them and as of this date, two are still with us, Hazel, who lives in the hay barn, and Mr. Plum, who now resides on the deck after he left the barn years ago with Mama Kitty and Orange. They lived and ate on the porch, and Mama Kitty actually died in one of the baskets not long ago-she never tendered up, but Plum and Orange did over time, at least for me. When guests came, they would disappear into their forests of Quince bushes and lilacs, perhaps showing their faces, but never tendering to strangers.
Little Orange was from the second litter that Mama had immediately after we first found that orange fluff ball [that fluff ball went on to be known as Gus and he lived a long life but disappeared a year ago, he was ten years old]. It took me two years to trap Mama and spay her, but I did, and she too lived to be over twelve.
I found Little Orange and his litter in the trash heap the former owners had left out behind the old barn. We were cleaning it up and out popped some kittens. One was Little Orange. All the others- Blackberry, Pumpkin Head, Teasel, and Fig are gone.
I am sad. He was a favorite. And it is hard to not put my human emotions onto Plum, who was with Orange most days, and they slept on the porch all wrapped up together. Plum is fine, he is big and healthy and has ample baskets to sleep in. Peaches now sleeps on the porch, but she just isn't into buddying up with anyone. I'm hoping she might. She has become less hissy around other cats, and I have been noticing she watches Plum while he eats, and doesn't run off. So maybe, in time, they will bond. Plum sits on the porch at night and we communicate through the window. We have all windows there, and it is almost like he is n the room with us.
I looked for his body, thinking he might have died in the bramble. But cats are independent that way. The coons often come to the porch to look for left over feed in the dish, but they respect the cats, and vice versa. I think he just died, and took himself to a place that was dry and out of trouble.
Good bye, Little Orange. I know you are okay wherever you are. I'm so glad I could help you live a long life. And to all those who helped with donations for all those cat spays/neuters in the early years, you helped too.